Just when you thought it was safe to swear off laughing forever, the Groundlings have unleashed another solid show. Under Mikey Day's direction, the best bits are weighted toward the beginning: John Connor's sidekick meets his own protective Terminator, an 18-inch dancing robot; two octogenarian '70s sitcom stars radiate diva 'tude while fumbling through a commercial for the AARP; and, my favorite, a post-championship rally for the Lakers where a fan opens up to Kobe Bryant via the news, looking into the camera and vowing, "You could make me learn to trust again." Director Day keeps things at a nice clip, staying on top of five funny improv exercises, despite loud insistence from a tipsy audience member (who wanted more of her suggestions used) that everyone else in the crowd was a plant. In a uniformly good cast, Jeremy Rowley's Kobe obsessive stands out, as do both ladies, Stephanie Courtney and Charlotte Newhouse, the latter of whom braved an instantly embarrassed theatergoer's improv prompt that she speak "Asian." Groundlings Theater, 7307 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 8 & 10 p.m.; thru Oct. 3. (323) 934-9700.
Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 & 10 p.m. Starts: July 31. Continues through Oct. 3, 2009